25 Oct, 2010 @ 09:00
1 min read

Brits face demolition of homes

HUNDREDS of Britons are facing the demolition of their homes after thousands of licences were deemed illegal in Cuevas del Almanzora.

According to town hall sources, the licences, which were granted for homes built in 2003 under the so-called ‘Consolidated Urban Land’ project, have now been declared null and void.

It comes following the leak of confidential documents that show that the town hall, led by the PP party at the time, was not authorised to consolidate urban land.

Officials had, in fact, been ordered by the courts to stop building, but decided to ignore the ruling.

The future of the homes – up to half of which are owned by expatriates – now hangs in the balance.

Opposition PSOE councillor Miguel Fernandez told the Olive Press: “What will the citizens who acted in good faith think when they now find that their homes are not legal?”

There may however be a glimmer of hope for at least some of the homes affected.

Fernandez added: “We expect the Junta to approve an amendment to the PGOU town plan which means many of them will be legalised by the backdoor.”

Mayor Jesus Caicedo has yet to speak publicly on the matter.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact [email protected]


  1. These sort of things,are really disturbing.Of course they should have stopped building when they were told to ,but no doubt the owners were not informed,the builders should liable

  2. The licenses were granted so it looks like some lawyers and notaries were also involved perhaps. Legal transactions were made to complete the purchases, so this goes beyond just the builders. Once again, there was zero enforcement by the authorities, probably because they were bought off wirth brown envelopes, or because family members were involved etc zzzz.

    Lets face it, you’d have to be a complete nutjob to buy a house in Spain currently, and not just the new builds – problems are rife throughout the sector and the whole thing is a mess of legal issues that are no fault of the vast majority of owners.

    And Spain has the gall to launch ridiculous cases against people like Sean Connery, when its entire legal and planning system is rotten to the core.

  3. Agreed Fred. Additionally, if the so-called “courts” had decided that the “Consolidated Urban Land” project was illegal, why did they not stop it going ahead? Why wait until the buildings were up and occupied by innocent buyers years later?
    Obvious really, the decision-makers (I hesitate to use the word judges) in the “courts” had friends or relatives likely to benefit from the schemes completion.
    Rotten to the core, I would never advise anyone to buy in Spain, in any area. But the corruption could take 20 years to eradicate and what effect will that have on Spain’s economy?

  4. As much as I agree with Fred and Tonys basic comments I have to say the usual “that these things only appear to happen in Murcia, Valencia, the Balearics and of course the whole of Andalucia” where it would be hard to find a town that hasn’t been affected by fraud, corruption, cheating, illegal building and town hall corruption or the whole caboodle with corrupt Police, Bank Staff and Town Councillors thrown in for good measure.It really doesn’t appear to happen in the North of Spain for instance where neighbours WOULD inform the Police and Police WOULD IMMEDIATELY ACT, ARREST EVERYONE CONCERNED,TAKE THEM TO COURT POST HASTE AND HUGE FINES – 250K. Euros plus would be issued, limited time to pay. Any building Immediately demolished and charge added to the fine. Here Police and Judiciary act against the NORMALLY INNOCENT PURCHASER who has been conned by the estate agent, builder, crooked lawyer and notary ALL colluding together!

  5. I think that one of the main problems in Spain is that it takes so long to get these corruption cases to court that the corrupt think it’s worth trying to get away with it. It’s time the government really looked at the laws and developed a fast track way of getting these cases to court so that corrupt officials were looking at several months on remand in prison before their trials and these months were not considerered part of the sentence after they are found guilty also their assets were frozen from the moment they are charged and the assets of all immediate family members

  6. Have a little read of this. It’s something no Spanish mortgage company would ever, ever tell you and it’s not covered in any “investigative” papers in Spain either of course:


    I quote “Not only are Spanish mortgage holders personally liable for the full amount of the loan, but throw in penalty interest charges and tens of thousands of dollars in court fees, and people can end up, like Mr. Marbán, facing a mountain of debt. Bankruptcy is not the answer, either. Mortgage debt is specifically excluded here.”

    Read and learn about how Spain penalises mortgage owners unlike any other country in the EU. The Olive Press should do a feature on this very important topic.

  7. In many cases of retrospective illegal building claims, here in Mallorca as well, the evidence appears to prove a local authority approved a license – and in good faith, buyers bought. Lawyers and Notaries searched and local authority approval was found good.

    Obviously, the relevant Spanish authority will interpret the law from their point of view. Those who live in Spain know that Spaniards in any authority never take responsibility for anything.

    Where that Local Building License was illegally obtained (bribery of local official commonly quoted) or OVERTURNED by some higher authority – I cannot see how the Buyer of the property should suffer any loss.

    It was the authority that was defrauded! And THEY issued (thru their officers) fraudulent licenses – not the innocent buyer of the property.

    My feelings are that the European Court would find the party responsible, the LOSER, was the local Authority, either:-
    i. defrauded by their own officers
    whether or not in cahoots with a developer is neither here or there)
    ii. issuing fraudulent Licenses
    iii. failing to notify licensees of a possible or actual cancellation (by higher authority) before they started building.

    Innocent Buyers surely have recourse to the Local council – who issued a bona fide – you can build here! – license?

    A Class Suit of thousands of home owners affected, threatening to sue the few councils concerned – would surely result in proving THOSE councils caused or grossly contributed to their own losses.

    Watch them rapidly rescind any demolition order then –
    if only to avoid the suits and legal costs.

    In fact, I am certain that rather than admit liability, or suffer the indignant visit to the European Court, the authorities concerned would feel forced to issue retrospective approval – as an item above shows.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Story

Red tuna comeback

ronda a
Next Story

The peak of outdoor Spain

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press